Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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파계승 pagaeseung tal (depraved monk mask)
  • Korea
  • 파계승 pagaeseung tal (depraved monk mask), probably 1970s
  • Where object was made: Korea
  • paper, rice glue, ink, color pigments, cloth
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 16 x 12.5 x 7 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 6 1/4 x 4 7/8 x 2 3/4 in
  • Gift of Lilly Y. Tsubaki
  • Not on display
  • 2010.0078

A black hooded, red mask is characterized by large teardrop-shaped eyes possessing gold irises. Multiple raised horizontal ridges mark its brow and forehead; larger protuberances project from the center of each ridge and along its hairline creating a “t.” Each bulge is further emphasized by a gold dot. A tuft of brown “hair” peaks from beneath its hood. It possesses a slit for a mouth and a broad flat nose. Black and white markings-alternating vertical lines on the ridges and dots sprinkled across the bridge of his nose and lower portion of his face-create graphic appeal. Gold dots may also be viewed on its protruding cheeks and chin.

This mask is used in the Bongsan Talchum or Bongsan Mask Dance Play. The play originated in the Hwaenghae Province, presently located in North Korea. Intended to satirize and mock reality, its performance provokes laughter through characters such as a corrupt Buddhist priest, an elderly aristocrat, his servant, and a shaman.